WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Empty pews at St. Benedict in Warwick will soon be full with members of two congregations; those who normally go there for Sunday morning mass and those from Woodbury Union Church.
“We thought it was a perfect fit, it’s just down the street,” Father Robert Marciano of St. Kevin & St. Benedict Parish said.
On the night before Thanksgiving, flames tore through the Woodbury Union Church. No one was hurt but the building suffered heavy damage, and the steeple eventually collapsed.
As soon as Father Robert Marciano with St. Benedict heard about happened he wanted to help.
“People of faith need to stick together and that’s a tough time for them with their church and their disaster,” Father Marciano said.
So now his church is offering space and resources to Woodbury Union including worship space, community, and space for Sunday school, all at no cost.
“Gave the keys yesterday, we met, here’s the keys to the church, here’s the keys to the school, i’ll give you a tour,” Father Marciano said.
He says the St. Benedict community is made up of about 300 families and Woodbury Union has about 100. The usual St. Benedict mass is scheduled for 9 a.m., then Woodbury Union at 10:30 a.m.
Despite Woodbury Union being a Presbyterian church and St. Benedict being Catholic, overlap at the masses is expected. The church is ready with this sign on the door: Welcome Woodbury Union members.
“We’re glad to be part of their family and have them part of ours,” Father Marciano said.
The State Fire Marshal’s office is still investigating the cause of the fire.